How teenagers can get work after school

CAREERS’ panel of expert recruiters answers a reader’s question each week. Have a question? Email [email protected]

My teen is struggling to find a part-time job. What advice do you have for them this year?

Andrew Sullivan

Managing director,

Sullivan Consulting

Firstly, it’s great that you’re looking to enter the job market at a young age – finding employment in your teens will help to set up a career in the future. If you’re not having luck with your applications, consider some volunteering or interning to get some extra skills and experience to add to your CV. Network with your friends, family and school to see if there are any junior roles available. Remember to think broadly and be open to all opportunities, as who knows where a path might lead!

Alexandra Rosser

Head of Organisational Psychology Consulting,

Stillwell Management Consultants

There are many employers out there who are also struggling to find people for entry-level roles so it is really a matter of being active and broad in your job search and willing and keen to do what is needed. Identify people in your network who might be likely to have part-time entry-level jobs available and try to make contact with them to express your interest, offer yourself for both paid employment but also work experience if they want to trial you, and explain how you feel you could add value to their business. Keep your eyes open when out and about as retail, hospitality and trades often post advertisements in windows and on boards on their premises. Ask your friends for tips on how they have got their part-time jobs and whether they can put in a good word for you with their employers. Also look at volunteer opportunities as often the organisation will indicate that a volunteer role can turn into paid employment.

Lisa Morris



Today’s world of work is very different to when we were teenagers. Now it can take hours and hours of endless forms, emails and online applications to receive just one interview offer. That’s why going back to basics and making in-person prospecting visits to shops or workplaces can be helpful. Not only will this get your teen in front of potential employers, but it allows them to demonstrate their soft skills – which are often the make or break for teens looking to secure a job. After all, an employer won’t teach your teen how to communicate clearly, put down their mobile phone, follow instructions or dress for the workplace. By prospecting in person, your teen can demonstrate these expected workplace soft skills. Before your teen walks out the door, make sure he or she is dressed appropriately and has a simple one-page CV to share with any interested employers. The CV should highlight examples of extra-curricular activities or volunteer roles that show commitment, a willingness to work hard and an ability to participate successfully in a team environment. Also, ensure your teen has cleaned up their social media profile as a potential employer will research them online.

Justin Hinora

Executive consultant,

Hender Consulting

There could be some lessons around persistence, resilience, proactivity and thinking outside the square here. Beyond simply responding to job adverts and sending off job applications, I would encourage them to front up in person to businesses in the local area that might have a need for part-time staff, such as supermarkets, cafes, etc, introduce themselves and inquire about any suitable vacancies. Sometimes timing is everything. I would also remind them that this work does not need to be their dream job, and reflect on whether their ambitions for the type of part-time work are realistic.

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